The timetable for Rose’s return, according to his surgeon Dr. Brian Cole, was 8-to-12 months. Well, it’s been 12 months and counting. The battered Bulls’ backs are up against the Game 7 wall. Fans are impatient, sportswriters are agitated and Twitter universe and the Facebook world are replete with folks who have questioned everything from Rose’s toughness, his psyche and even his loyalty to the hometown team that he’s loved since the day he learned how to dribble a basketball. Last month, one fan committed the ultimate insult, suing Rose for missing the entire 2012-13 season and claiming that he suffered an emotional breakdown, mental distress and obesity as a result of Rose’s absence.
It’s beginning to feel as if practically everyone thinks that Rose has let them down or that he owes them something. So what could Derrick Rose possibly owe to his teammates and to his Chicago Bulls fans? Here are some possibilities.
First, how about a few good minutes? Former Chicago Bulls guard, Steve Kerr, currently an NBA analyst, suggested that Rose owed as much as an interview with ESPN radio. So maybe Rose could come back on a minutes watch such as Kirk Hinrich has been on for the latter part of the season. Just a few good minutes from superstar Rose could turn any game around. Just a few good minutes may be all that’s needed to assist the incredibly supportive, but excruciatingly injured and ailing teammates who are sick and tired with the Brooklyn Nets and facing an elimination game at the billion dollar Barclays Center.
If not a few good minutes then how about a full-court press conference or, at the very least, a simple explanation to the media and fans? It wasn’t too long ago that Rose was Chicago’s media darling, giving a heart-felt MVP acceptance speech and expressing love and appreciation for his mom and his teammates. Fast forward two years and Rose’s image has taken a bit of a hit. Having been cleared to play but not ready to play and speculation that he will play then won’t play has done little to tilt public opinion his way. Maybe all Rose needs to do is explain his intentions for his career from this point forward. Maybe a nice sit-down with the clamoring media will be just what the doctor (and fans) ordered.
Then again maybe it’s not a matter of what Rose owes anyone as much as it is what everyone owes him? Have we forgotten already? Derrick Rose is a phenomenal basketball player – three-time NBA All-Star, former NBA Rookie of the Year and before the ACL injury last year he was still the league’s reigning MVP. Could it be that this extremely likeable and youngest (former) MVP, who has his entire career ahead of him, deserves a little more patience?
Perhaps it’s our debt that has come due.
Hollie M. Woods is a writer for Rant Sports covering the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. “Like” her on Facebook.